The Philosophy of Financial Research Essay
Research Method and Methodology in Finance and
Robert W. Scapens
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Research Method and Methodology in Finance and Accounting
Copyright © Bob Ryan, Robert W. Scapens and Michael Theobold 2002
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Part of our task in this chapter is to make clear what those assumptions are and how they inﬂuence the research process. We start our discussions about research at a somewhat abstract level but, as we will demonstrate in later chapters, the issues we raise here condition much of what we have to say later about such questions as:
. What are the different assumptions about the nature of ﬁnancial reality that
. What is the role of theory in acquiring knowledge about ﬁnancial and accounting
. How does research progress?
Given that research is fundamentally about the discovery, interpretation and communication of new knowledge there is still little agreement about the source of knowledge itself. The ﬁnancial disciplines have, over the last 40 years, provided a new intellectual arena for some very old debates, and our purpose here is to discuss the range of issues and debates, which are of importance to the practising researcher.
To illustrate the